How to Become a Certified Diabetes Educator

May 11, 2017

Are you in the healthcare field and looking for a new direction?  Or maybe you’re interested in learning more to help family or friends who have diabetes.  Whatever your motivation, getting your Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) credential is not as difficult as you might think.

I get calls and inquiries in how to get your CDE certification all the time.  Many are surprised to know that there are other specialists in the healthcare field who are able to obtain this credential besides nurses and dietitians.  These eligible healthcare professionals include clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians (M.D. or D.O.), certified clinical exercise physiologists, health educators holding active certification as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and health professionals with a master's degree or higher in social work from a United States college or university accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting body.

I like to encourage people who are interested in obtaining this credential to take the first steps. Not only is attainable, but very rewarding.  I love what I do because it incorporates everything about the human experience of caring for oneself.  It’s challenging, enlightening (you will learn more about your own health when helping others navigate their own health care goals) and so inspiring! And, no two people are alike!

Many people “fall” into this specialty because of the need and their interest in this condition. Currently, diabetes affects 300 million people worldwide so you can see why there is a need. If you think of the many family members and friends of those 300 million you can easily see the huge amount of interest generated. We will also need more educators to join the health care team to help curb this worldwide epidemic. I recently attended a diabetes conference with health care team members who came not only from the United States, but Australia, South Africa, South America and Portugal.

This is how I got my CDE credential. I was working in a hospital where I commonly saw newly diagnosed people with diabetes who had little knowledge of how to manage this condition even though the warning signs may have been there years earlier. I wanted to have an opportunity to help people before that hospital visit.

I began logging the hours I was teaching diabetes education (a requirement, see below) and then I took a CDE prep course. I highly recommend taking this prep course because it gives you the confidence and direction to study for the national exam.  If you don’t work for a hospital there are many volunteer opportunities for teaching diabetes education, including at diabetes camps and in low-cost clinics.

Maybe this is the direction you are looking for!

For information on how to get your CDE and prep classes see the following:


Tags: diabetes, DaCruz



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